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AT&T to begin call authentication to screen out fraudulent callers

By Cal Jeffrey · 5 replies
Jul 9, 2019
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  1. AT&T announced on Tuesday that it would begin automatically blocking spam calls for customers at no extra charge. This will be an on-by-default service, so customers who would prefer to answer auto-dialed calls have to opt out.

    The telecom giant says it is using call authentication and “other tools” to identify unwanted or fraudulent callers. The service is first being rolled out to new subscribers. Existing customers will have to wait a bit, but can expect it in “the coming months.” In the meantime, the company’s Call Protect app is still available and has proven reasonably effective at reducing the number of spam calls.

    It was only last month that the Federal Communications Commission approved rules allowing carriers to block robocalls by default. AT&T is the first so far to implement changes at an infrastructure level. It is highly likely other providers will follow by example.

    Although Commissioners Michael O’Rielly and Jessica Rosenworcel voted in favor of the rules allowing this action, both expressed misgivings that the regulations do not prevent service providers from charging to block calls.

    However, as AT&T is not charging for this service at this time, attempting to regulate a problem that does not yet exist would be putting the cart before the horse. This is an area of the rules that the FCC can undoubtedly revisit if the need arises.

    Image credit: Roman Tiraspolsky via Shutterstock

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  2. GregonMaui

    GregonMaui TS Booster Posts: 137   +45

    Yay! Now if we can all just collect a fee from the robocallers!
     
  3. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,399   +5,021

    The only reason there is no fee so far is they have not yet been bought out. Give it time. We will never be free of robocalls. Same with online ads, we will never be free.
     
  4. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,393   +3,780

    I'm still waiting for a phone feature that allows me to push the button and deliver a 480 volt jolt to the robo-caller. After all, there is no reason to be suttee about your displeasure of receiving a call like that. I'll bet this would be a BIG seller to the X-spouse market!
     
  5. mbrowne5061

    mbrowne5061 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,209   +670

    Open up your own 900-number, and then redirect all incoming calls from unknown numbers to that number?
     
    psycros and jobeard like this.
  6. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 2,715   +2,514

    I'm really glad to see this finally happening but what gets me is that the phone companies had the ability do this all along - there were no legal or technical issues in the way. As for the idea that regulators should wait until Big Phone starts charging extra for privacy before addressing the issue, that's exactly the sort of thinking that allows problems to get out of hand.
     
    cliffordcooley likes this.

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